Freedom of information response

RIPA Applications

Publication date: 
Friday 26 June 2020
Request: 

1.       How many Regulation of Investigative Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) Applications were submitted by council staff in the 2017, 2018 and 2019?

2.       How many council staff are currently trained to enable them to submit a Regulation of Investigative Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) Application?

3.       What was your training budget in 2017, 2018, 2019 for Regulation of Investigative Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) Training?

4.       Was any of your training budget made up by grants? If so, how much?

5.       What training courses did you commission in 2018/2019 on the topic of Regulation of Investigative Powers Act 2000 (RIPA)?

a.       How many sessions of each course did you commission?

b.       What was the price per course?

c.       Who delivered each course?

d.       What was the method of delivery (e.g. face or face, online etc.)

6.       What is the name of the councils Monitoring Officer?

a.       What are their contact details?

7.       What are the names of the councils Authorising Officers?

a.       What are their contact details?

8.       When was your last inspection from the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office?

9.       When is your next inspection from the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office?

Response: 

1. 2017 - In issuing our response the Council has applied S21 of the Freedom of Information Act. This means that the information you have requested is already available elsewhere so is therefore exempt from disclosure.

The information is available at: https://democracy.thurrock.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeId=135

2018 - As above

2019 - In issuing our response the council have applied S22 of the Freedom of Information Act. This means that the council does hold this information and it is intended for publication at a future date. You are advised to refer to the council’s website where this information will be published. This will be available after the 9 July 2020 if the standards and audit committee meeting goes ahead.

  1. This varies depending on starters and leavers
  2. We don’t have a specific training budget for this
  3. No
  4. The council arrange training via an external provider and this training is tailored to all staff who are involved in the end to end RIPA process.

a. 2 training sessions take place approximately every 12 months.

b. In issuing our response the Council has applied S43 of the Freedom of Information Act. Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it). A commercial interest relates to a person’s ability to successfully participate in a commercial activity, i.e. the purchase and the sale of goods or services. Further details are shown below.

c. Anthony Collins Solicitors

d. Face to face

6. Ian Hunt

a. Ihunt@thurrock.gov.uk

7. a.

In issuing our response the council have applied S22 of the Freedom of Information Act. This means that the council does hold this information and it is intended for publication at a future date. You are advised to refer to the council’s website where this information will be published. This will be available after the 9 July 2020 if the standards and audit committee meeting goes ahead.

8. January 2017

9. Awaiting confirmation due to Covid

With regards to Question 5b, the council are of the view that the release of the information in scope of your request would prejudice its own commercial interests and the commercial interests of the training provider. The reasons for this have been captured below under the public interest test section.

Public Interest Test:

The council have considered the public interest test in relation to section 43 (2) in releasing the information in scope of your request. The outcome of this is below.

  • Public interest in disclosure:
    • Accountability for spending of public money. Where a public authority is purchasing goods/services there is a public interest in ensuring value for money is achieved.
  • Public interest to maintain the exemption:
    • Releasing cost figures for a specific service may affect the company’s ability to commercially tender for the same service in the future.
    • Companies should be able to compete fairly on a level playing field. If the details of costs for services are publically available then this would put the current service provider at a commercial disadvantage should a competitor be made aware of the costs charged.
    • It will hinder the ongoing working relationship between the council and the current service provider.

Based on the above, it is the Council’s view that there is a stronger public interest to maintain the use of the exemption for section 43 (2).

You are free to use any information supplied to you for your own use, including non-commercial research purposes. However, any other type of re-use, for example, by publishing the information or issuing copies to the public will require the permission of the copyright owner.

Where the copyright is owned by Thurrock Council, you must apply to the Council to re-use the information. Please email information.matters@thurrock.gov.uk if you wish to re-use the information you have been supplied. For information where the copyright is owned by another person or organisation, you must apply to the copyright owner to obtain their permission

Request reference:
FOI 10032